Midfielder | Royal Antwerp | Mexico
Omar Govea’s exploits with Mexico giants Club America earned him a loan move to Portuguese outfit in 2015 to play in their B team. After impressing enough in Northern Portugal, the tough-tackling midfielder earned a move to the club on a permanent basis, who then loaned him out to Belgian outfit Royal Excel Mouscron to gain more experience in European football.
Commended for his maturity after initially arriving in the Jupiler Pro League during the summer of 2017, the Mexican international from San Luis Potosi City looked impressive. With four goals for his side during the first few months of his stint with the club, 2018 looked to be a big year for him.
That, to a certain extent, hasn’t worked out as planned and we’ll explain why in this review.
2018 has been
The aforementioned goals started to dry up at the turn of the year, though Govea was still able to record another four assists in 12 appearances while on the French border with Belgium.
An all-action midfielder, Govea was deployed in a variety of central roles. Either as the anchorman, a more orthodox central midfielder or even as an attacker, the Mexican did look to be growing in influence, even if the goals weren’t as forthcoming as they were prior to January 2018.
However, in February he was sent off for the first time against Standard Liege, where his season began to fizzle out somewhat. He returned for the final three games of the campaign in what was a miserable run for Mouscron, picking up a yellow card in his last game against KAS Eupen - his third bookable offence in just four games.
Still, while his experience with Mouscron ended on a relative sour note and he missed out on the Mexican World Cup squad for the tournament in Russia despite playing in two of their friendlies before flying out, Royal Antwerp were impressed enough to bring him back to Belgium on another loan deal, this time with an option to buy.
At a bigger club, Govea was expected to kick on and really improve his consistency, having blown hot and cold previously. Yet, that hasn’t really gone to plan at The Bosuilstadion.
Despite joining towards the back end of the summer window, he’s only managed to feature in 179 minutes of action across four appearances in all competitions. Sent off just 16 minutes into his first start for the club against Cercle Brugge in August, he faced a real struggle to get back into László Bölöni’s side as they push Genk for the title.
Limited to just four inclusions in matchday squads, not even making it off the bench until returning against Gent in November, things really did grind to a halt.
Indeed, Govea’s bad luck continued earlier this month during a game with Sint-Truidense W, during which he suffered a fairly serious knee ligament injury, ruling him out of action until mid-January.
The fact that Govea hasn’t been able to kick on after a productive first quarter of 2018 is a real shame, considering his obvious talent. Perhaps his stuttering year will mean he’s destined for another year away from Porto to prove his worth, delaying his progress.
Still, if he can finish his spell at Antwerp strongly, Porto may have something to think about.